Influencer Marketing in the Promo Industry | A How-To Guide / PromoJournal - Taylor's Take

Influencer Marketing in the Promo Industry | A How-To Guide / PromoJournal - Taylor's Take

Are you missing the boat on this strategy? Content has never been more valuable. For this reason, it’s normal to feel pressured to ramp up the quantity produced. So how can we ensure that our time is well spent – and better yet, outsource it more often?  This style of marketing was introduced many years ago in the rise of Instagram. It’s since evolved into a massive force within retail and has woven its way into the fabric of social media today. A common criticism of the influencer lifestyle is that it can be seen as fake or performative (because many are!). But if approached authentically, it can be wildly effective.  It’s the method of strategically endorsing products, ideas and people on social media through product placement and targeted messaging.  The technology is new, but the psychology is not. For thousands of years humans have looked to others in their in-group for reassurance and guidance in how they behave. If the original influencer was the caveman who started using stone tools, today’s version brings her reusable water bottle to yoga class. Thanks to our progress in tech, our tribe is just much bigger now.  Both suppliers and distributors can apply this strategy to their marketing efforts:  In addition to encouraging your own team members to serve as social media advocates for your brand, you can develop a plan for your distributor customers.  Identify distributor sale people and corporate team members who would make valuable influencers. Pay attention to who is active on social and whose sales focus or personal brand aligns with yours.  Creates a consistent cadence and program around your product drops. Communicate with your stakeholders so they understand key objectives.  Encourage them to give you feedback and post their content on the platforms of choice. You can choose how structured or flexible you’d like your program to be. Reward good behavior by continuing to send products to contact creators call publish a good quality and quantity of intended content. If you send products to people who do nothing with it just drop them off your next mailing and backfill with new players.  You can replicate almost the exact same process with applicable customers (this isn’t the right fit for everyone) to help them to promote their own promo program, create an engaged network and provide you with valuable social media testimonials to help grow your customer base.  Additionally, once you understand the ins and outs of influencer marketing, it gives you a leg up in selling branded merch and kitting projects to support customers in their influencer campaigns. As drop shipping and kitted collections become increasingly prevalent in our industry, we’ll continue to see more opportunities in this space.   Be patient. It takes time to build up strong voices within your network but with consistency come steady growth. Good lighting will completely transform continent. If you are investing heavily in others creating for you. It’s worth considering investing in inexpensive lighting equipment. You can find some very affordable options on Amazon and we have several suppliers in the industry who sell lighting accessories specifically for this. Place a self promo order and send it out with your next product drop. Follow up with your influencers. Everyone gets busy and lost in the craziness of the day. Be sure to follow up multiple times to answer any questions and keep posting on track.  Presentation can be a game changer. Even if you don’t incorporate custom packaging, you can still elevate the delivery with a handwritten note, branded insert or decal. However, if you’re executing a much larger project, a custom box is almost expected at this point. Feature products and ideas that people will actually want to share. Be sure that it’s useful, unexpected or fun. Whether it’s simply the application of the products or the artwork and messaging featured…nothing limits creativity more than a blank sample of a journal or tumbler we’ve seen a thousand times.  At this point, we’ve developed many preconceived notions around what an “influencer” needs to look and act like, and that has held us back. We are an industry full of charismatic, people-focused professionals and somewhere along the line convinced ourselves that we belong behind the scenes.  What I see for us is a future where our personal brand helps to build relationships and create engaging communities where content is worth as much (or more) as the tangible products we sell. Taylor Borst is Director of Marketing, Events & Public Relations for American Solutions for Business. Joining the print and promo industry in 2015, she specializes in social media, promotional products, and supplier relations. Taylor is currently a Sous Chef with PromoKitchen, board member for UMAPP, on the PSDA Emerging Leaders Committee and is an advocate for education and youth involvement in the industry. Connect with her on Instagram TikTok and LinkedIn. You may also be interested in... Holiday Sales Strategy: 5 Trends You Need to Know Now Trends and tips to win this holiday season The Promo Industry’s Lifestyle Makeover

Content has never been more valuable. For this reason, it’s normal to feel pressured to ramp up the quantity produced. So how can we ensure that our time is well spent – and better yet, outsource it more often? Enter, influencer marketing.This style of marketing was introduced many years ago in the rise of Instagram. It’s since evolved into a massive force within retail and has woven its way into the fabric of social media today. A common criticism of the influencer lifestyle is that it can be seen as fake or performative (because many are!). But if approached authentically, it can be wildly effective. What is influencer marketing? It’s the method of strategically endorsing products, ideas and people on social media through product placement and targeted messaging. The technology is new, but the psychology is not. For thousands of years humans have looked to others in their in-group for reassurance and guidance in how they behave. If the original influencer was the caveman who started using stone tools, today’s version brings her reusable water bottle to yoga class. Thanks to our progress in tech, our tribe is just much bigger now. How-To Guide Both suppliers and distributors can apply this strategy to their marketing efforts: Suppliers In addition to encouraging your own team members to serve as social media advocates for your brand, you can develop a plan for your distributor customers. Identify distributor sale people and corporate team members who would make valuable influencers. Pay attention to who is active on social and whose sales focus or personal brand aligns with yours. Creates a consistent cadence and program around your product drops. Communicate with your stakeholders so they understand key objectives. Encourage them to give you feedback and post their content on the platforms of choice. You can choose how structured or flexible you’d like your program to be.Reward good behavior by continuing to send products to contact creators call publish a good quality and quantity of intended content. If you send products to people who do nothing with it just drop them off your next mailing and backfill with new players. Distributors You can replicate almost the exact same process with applicable customers (this isn’t the right fit for everyone) to help them to promote their own promo program, create an engaged network and provide you with valuable social media testimonials to help grow your customer base. Additionally, once you understand the ins and outs of influencer marketing, it gives you a leg up in selling branded merch and kitting projects to support customers in their influencer campaigns. As drop shipping and kitted collections become increasingly prevalent in our industry, we’ll continue to see more opportunities in this space.  Bonus Tips:Be patient. It takes time to build up strong voices within your network but with consistency come steady growth.Good lighting will completely transform continent. If you are investing heavily in others creating for you. It’s worth considering investing in inexpensive lighting equipment. You can find some very affordable options on Amazon and we have several suppliers in the industry who sell lighting accessories specifically for this. Place a self promo order and send it out with your next product drop.Follow up with your influencers. Everyone gets busy and lost in the craziness of the day. Be sure to follow up multiple times to answer any questions and keep posting on track. Presentation can be a game changer. Even if you don’t incorporate custom packaging, you can still elevate the delivery with a handwritten note, branded insert or decal. However, if you’re executing a much larger project, a custom box is almost expected at this point.Feature products and ideas that people will actually want to share. Be sure that it’s useful, unexpected or fun. Whether it’s simply the application of the products or the artwork and messaging featured…nothing limits creativity more than a blank sample of a journal or tumbler we’ve seen a thousand times. At this point, we’ve developed many preconceived notions around what an “influencer” needs to look and act like, and that has held us back. We are an industry full of charismatic, people-focused professionals and somewhere along the line convinced ourselves that we belong behind the scenes.  What I see for us is a future where our personal brand helps to build relationships and create engaging communities where content is worth as much (or more) as the tangible products we sell.Taylor Borst is Director of Marketing, Events & Public Relations for American Solutions for Business. Joining the print and promo industry in 2015, she specializes in social media, promotional products, and supplier relations. Taylor is currently a Sous Chef with PromoKitchen, board member for UMAPP, on the PSDA Emerging Leaders Committee and is an advocate for education and youth involvement in the industry. Connect with her on Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn." />

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